Hikes: Immersion Quiet

2023 1218 hikes

40°, damp and wet. Few of us wanted to be out in the chill. The birds and other small creatures find a way to survive and bring cheer. Kinglets and nuthatches were caroling above us, just out of sight. A frog’s gravelly chanting echoed through the ancient cathedral of trees.

We were on Broom-Tomb Loop Trail. Great name, eh? Rocks shimmering with emerald green mosses lined our way.  Broom-Tomb is a loop trail beyond the Sares Head route, an additional mile of meadow and woodland, of intimate glades and grand views. It’s a winding path with many ups and downs, a skinny route that leads the eyes to so much beauty both far and near.

It’s also a cornucopia of mushrooms. Elvish caps rose up, all velvety soft, brown and white and tan and orange, a fairy roof for their tendrils bringing nourishing lines of life to all around them. Tiny squiggles of insects and spiders meandered through the miniature forests of moss and lichen. Such is the beauty we cannot see, beside our every step.

At the peak of the route, we could see Rosario Head and Lighthouse Point, and beyond the long winding ribbon of Whidbey Island, its gray-green woodlands and headlands disappearing into the wispy shrouds of clouds. Atop this overlook, seagulls chanted the rhythm of the sea. Oyster-catchers chided each other on the clumpy rocks below. Clouds hung like upside down jellies bouncing below the great blue. For one minute the sunlight dared to poke through to turn the trees and trail, the rocks and mosses into glittering gold. Then all grew gray again, the forests muted, the meadows mellow, cool and silent.

All was quiet, other than our labored breathing climbing back up to the end of the loop, to the overlook facing west, beyond Fidalgo, over Rosario Strait, over the misty San Juans and Vancouver Island, across the broad expanse of Juan de Fuca into the ether of a world without end.

This is our place to listen, to watch and immerse ourselves in quiet, in the hidden life that we pass by so quickly, the endless gifts of the outside world. And we give thanks for being able to plant our feet here on our wondrous earth.

jack and Kath


Directions: Get outside. From Whidbey go north on the Deception Pass Bridge, turn left on Rosario Road and follow it to Sharpe Park on the left in about a mile and half. From Anacortes take 12th Street to D Avenue, go south 5.5 miles to the park on your right.

By bike: Rosario Road is windy, hilly, and narrow-shouldered, but with light traffic.

Mobility: the trail is very narrow in places, steep in places, rocky, slippery, mostly dry in winter.

Wayfinding: This trail starts near where the Sares Head trail ends at the western top of Sares Head. If you take Broom-Tomb Loop clockwise, you climb to the very top, then descend quite low, then climb back up to the west-facing Sares Head area. Be sure to turn right at the one T-intersection you will find at the low point of the trail. If you go counterclockwise, it's the opposite of everything I just said.

Republished with permission. Read the original article.